Day Two of the OAC 2005 saw industry experts giving their views on various facets of outdoor such as creativity, consolidation, regulation, client expectations and insight for planning. It also gave an opportunity to take a leaf out of UK’s success story explaining its status of the ‘Best Out of home’ market in the world.
One was able to see creativity at its best – when Josy Paul, Country Head and National Creative Director, rmg david, addressed the topic -- The creative possibilities and challenges of the ‘7 words 7 seconds medium’
Showing a series of creative outdoor campaigns, some subtle, some simple and some simply outstanding – but all connecting to the viewer, Paul stressed on the need to establish out of home segment as something bigger and more than just hoardings. The guiding philosophy for Paul’s conviction is simple ‘Everything around you can talk. It just needs an ambient person to observe and grasp’
Noomi Mehta, Managing Director, Selvel Vantage Group, spoke at length on the irregularities in the way the outdoor industry operates and strongly voiced against the injustice meted out to outdoor as an industry. The decision to ban hoardings in Delhi was questioned by Mehta. Mehta said, “In the current scenario, consolidation through buying out of small agencies doesn’t seem too likely to happen. In the past, we have taken the acquisition route but it has cost us a lot owing to unfair decisions of the Municipal Body.” Rules being outdated for the outdoor industry were also one of the things Mehta was disappointed with.
In Mehta’s view, standardisation should take place across all parameters including price, size, contracts, traffic counts and techniques of evaluation.
Roda Mehta, Chairperson, Technical Committee – MRUC, repeatedly emphasised that everyone from the industry needs to come together to make the regulatory body effective and solve various issues.
John Ellery, Consultant, Poster Publicity, UK, cited the factors that make UK the most successful ‘Out of home’ market. Ellery said, “Over the years, we have moved from clutter to cleaner visuals. It is very essential to understand what the client wants from you.” Ellery also suggested focussing on investment, encouragement of new ideas, good monitoring system and an active outdoor association. “Collectively, all these have led to UK’s outdoor industry’s growth from 5 per cent to 9.5 per cent, whereas comparative figures for the US stand at 3 per cent and 4 per cent respectively, ” Ellery discussed.
A brief yet effective session saw Harit Nagpal, Operations Director, Hutch, tackle with the topic -- ‘Outdoor deliverables expected by a client.’
Nagpal explained that the client expects everything ranging from low rentals to high quality, from competitor updates to uncluttered boards, from responsive team to effective monitoring not to forget the most important of them all – safety.
Mallikarjundas C R, Business Director ATG India, dealt with the measurement of effectiveness of outdoor media. “The attempt was to quantify the ROI of mass media” – said Mallikarjundas. A study done on two groups gave many insights – outdoor efficacy in building Top of mind recall is substantial. “With the development of PVI, the measurement system will be more accurate” – assured the research official.
Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, moderated a session that discussed 16 parameters relevant for outdoor industry. The panelists included Ashish Bhasin, Roda Mehta, Mohammed Al Noori, Indrajit Sen, Pratap Bose, Noomi Mehta, Yash Gala, Fred Poonawala and Yarif Avisar. The panelists agreed that the perception of outdoor as just a billboard should undergo change and that can happen with introduction of new technologies. Bijoor opined that one can’t get far too creative in the Indian market as the required level of understanding doesn’t exist among masses, which are the key audience and customers. There was an opposing view, though when example of O&M’s highly successful Hutch campaign was quoted. Everyone agreed that there is a need to put law and legislation in place for the outdoor industry.
Pratap Bose, President, Ogilvy Activation, said, “In the days to come, Mumbai will lose its position and thereby, the privileged attention it gets as far as outdoor is concerned.” Mumbai currently contributes to the tune of Rs 400 crore by way of outdoor business towards the total outdoor business in India which stands at Rs 800 crore.
Talking about brands that have used only through outdoor for advertising, Bose quoted Colgate Palmolive London’s example. Also, the Balbir Pasha campaign that dealt with AIDS awareness was discussed. The establishment of IOAAA and OAC were seen as major steps towards making the outdoor industry organised.
Everyone lauded the efforts that went into the making of this convention and endorsed the view that this will surely be the first step towards getting the outdoor industry organised.